Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Mighty Eighth (2014)

A clip from The Mighty Eighth showing what hell it must have been flying on a B-17 mission over Germany during WWII:

One obvious failing, probably mentioned before, is that military aircraft cabins are louder than that today, and were much louder then. I usually wore earplugs on the P-3. A B-17 had to be a lot worse. I don’t know what the filmmakers could have done to make it more realistic without making a movie unwatchable, which is why this is a common failing.

While watching, keep in mind that the crewmembers weren’t just along for the ride. They had to work in this environment — sometimes doing math with slide-rules.

And yes, I came across this while doing research. (YouTube has WWII training videos, too.) The writing continues….

Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod and H. G. Wells

Ken MacLeod speaks with Stephen Baxter on his new book The Massacre of Mankind. The despairing title comes from a phrase in The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. This is the sequel. It’s not the only sequel, as the first book (from 1897) has long since passed into public domain. But it’s the only one authorized by the Wells estate.

I’ll wait on buying it until my own forthcoming book is ready, and then until the price comes down.

The premise of the book is that the martians return after having studied what went wrong the first time. The British have learned a few things, too, with all those martian war machines left by the first invaders. Baxter studied the science that was understood at the time, and remained faithful to that.

The discussion is good listening if you’re an H.G. Wells fan. I’m tempted to say more, but a character in my next book talks about Wells and I don’t want to say anything best left for that.

Baxter also wrote an accompanying novelette, The Martian in the Wood (also available free at Tor.com).